Presentation on theme: "Opacities and Chemical Equilibria for Brown Dwarf and Extra-Solar Giant Planet Models Christopher M. Sharp June 9, 2004."— Presentation transcript:
Opacities and Chemical Equilibria for Brown Dwarf and Extra-Solar Giant Planet Models Christopher M. Sharp June 9, 2004
Definitions: A brown dwarf is a substellar object below the sustained hydrogen- burning limit of about 7.5% to 8.0% solar masses, and forms in a manner similar to stars by fragmentation of collapsing gas clouds. An extra-solar giant planet is a giant planet like Jupiter in orbit around a star other than the sun, and forms in a protoplanetary disk around its parent star. However, according to these definitions, a giant planet can be more massive than a brown dwarf. An alternative definition of a giant planet is an object below the deuterium burning limit of about 13 Jupiter masses, i.e. 1.3% solar masses.
1995 - A Watershed Year in Brown Dwarf and Extra-Solar Giant Planet Research In that year the first brown dwarf was unambiguously confirmed - Gliese 229B. In that year the first planet in orbit around a star similar to the sun was also unambiguously detected – 51 Peg b. Note that in 1992 planets were found in orbit around the pulsar PSR B1257+12. In that year a whole new branch of astrophysics was opened up, as theoretical models could be tested against observations.
The Chemistry of BD and EGP Atmospheres Because the temperatures are usually much lower than the coolest stellar atmospheres, the chemistry is much more complicated. A large number of polyatomic molecules are present, and condensates play a very important rôle. In our calculations we use the Anders-Grevesse (1989) solar composition for the following 27 elements: H, He, Li, C, N, O, F, Ne, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, Ar, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Rb and Cs, resulting in about 300 gas-phase molecular species, and over 100 condensates.
The Opacity of BD and EGP Atmospheres As a consequence of the chemistry being much more complicated than cool stellar atmospheres, the opacities are also much more complicated. A large number of diatomic and polyatomic species that may not be particularly important species in cool stellar atmospheres, or completely absent, can become very important sources of absorption, depending on the temperature and pressure. Such species include H 2 O, CH 4, NH 3, various hydrides and chlorides. For many species data are poorly known or not available. Additionally, the condensates are an important source of scattering and absorption.
Surprisingly, the alkali elements, Li, Na, K, Rb and Cs in their monatomic gaseous phase can also be important and show very broad lines, especially Na and K. This a consequence that for a range of temperatures and pressures, the atmosphere is relatively transparent, and these lines are formed deep in the atmosphere.
H 2 O Opacity at 2000 K and 1 Atm Wavenumber in cm -1 Log absorption in cm 2 /molecule
A-X B-X TiH Opacity at 2000 K and 1 Atm Wavenumber in cm -1 Log absorption in cm 2 /molecule
The Five Classes of EGPs Class I: The coolest with T eff <= 150 K, with NH 3 clouds and strong CH 4 absorption. Examples: Jupiter and Saturn. Class II: H 2 O class with H 2 O condensation and H 2 O and CH 4 opacity. Examples: υ And d, 55 Cancri d and ε Eri b. Class III: Too hot for H 2 O condensation so the outer atmosphere is transparent. Rotation-vibration molecular opacities are important. Examples: GJ 876 b and c. Class IV: T >= 900 K and are at small orbital distances. Strong pressure broadened lines of Na and K. Example: 55 Cancri b. Class V: Very hot “roasters” with distances of about 0.05 AU from the star. Clouds of Fe and silcates are present. Example: HD 209458b